Wednesday, March 29, 2017

8+9 Book Club Report

For this club meeting, we read Crash, by Lisa McMann, the first book in a trilogy called "Visions." Seventeen of our 22 members were in attendance to discuss it, and the room was pretty polarized, for and against. Some liked the main character but disliked her love interest, while for others it was the exact opposite. Everyone found the parents--particularly the father of Jules and the grandfather of Sawyer--problematical. Several people expressed love for the sibling relationships between Jules and her brother Trey and sister Rowan. Pretty much everyone (even the people who loved the book) considered the ending weak, which it was, because it leads to the next book! Those who like to read sequels were okay with that, while those who are stand-alone people were incensed. Several people had already read the next book or all three, and all of us who had agreed that the second and third book were vastly better, mostly because you had all the information and so the mysteries weren't so frustrating, although just as suspenseful. When we rated it, we had 14 who voted 7 out of 10 or above, and five who voted below that, including two measly twos! Our final, averaged rating was 7.35.

For those who are curious, here is my review of the series.

Next month's book is Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige. (Isn't the cover art brilliant on that book?)

We all came prepared to nominate and discuss books for May, but when the club found out that we already had multiple copies of the second book in The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and were willing, just this once, to let them read a sequel, it was nearly unanimous (sorry, George) that that's what we'd read, so Killer Instinct is our pick for May.

This club meets next on April 25th.

Monday, March 27, 2017

What we're reading: New realistic fiction

The Sun Is Also A Star
by Nicola Yoon
Realistic fiction for high school students
348 pages

Reviewed by Anarda, teen librarian

Natasha, an undocumented Jamaican girl, is brilliant and beautiful. She is also, along with her family, about 12 hours away from being deported to Jamaica, and the quest to stay in this country is all she cares about at the moment. She doesn't have time to think about anything as trivial as a cute boy.

David, a Korean-American boy, is on his way to an interview that may lock in an early acceptance to Yale to study to be a doctor (something that is very important to his immigrant parents but much less so to him). He is more naive than Natasha, and somewhat less of a brainiac (but still both gorgeous and well-spoken), so he is connected to his heart in a way Natasha simply can't afford in these troubled times. 

They meet in a New York City record store, and spend a day together that will change both of them.

What a wonderfully surprising book. The two protagonists are memorable, able to listen to each other and to grow in compassion and understanding, able to learn from each other and consider alternatives. And of course there is a strong mutual attraction, but there is so much more at stake in this budding relationship, so the teen lust seems funny, endearing, and plausible. 
The immigrant experience that Yoon capably explores feels completely authentic. A satisfying read that will appeal to teens who love relationship stories.